As someone who has had a beard for nearly 10 years, I can safely say that a beard trimmer is essential for anyone looking to grow their facial hair past a stubble. But, like any skincare or hair care routine, beard care takes time, patience and the right tools. Take it from someone who has had their fair share of facial hair faux pas — a beard trimmer can make or break a look.
Barbers and hair salons can give you a perfect beard trim, but being able to maintain that perfect cut at home is essential for anyone sporting a beard year-round. “Beard trimmers are a great way to define your facial hair and add definition to your look,” said Patrick Butler, senior director of creative and technical education at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop. “Beards play a big role in helping to redefine your head shape. Short or long, they can enhance your look quickly!”
We spoke with hair care professionals who shared with us their top beard trimmers as well as tips on keeping a beard healthy and tidy.
How to shop for a beard trimmer
Like most personal care products, there are an overwhelming amount of beard trimmers on the market. “Most face/beard trimmers are similar but there are a few that stand out,” said Davide Marinelli, founder and creative director of Davide Hair Studio in New York City.
Our experts broke down what features to look for when shopping for a new beard trimmer.
Not all beards are created equal. Most beard trimmers have no problem cutting to a stubble with the default cutting blade built-in to the trimmer, but if you sport a longer, more robust beard, you may need a trimmer with multiple attachments. Most trimmers come with attachments to maintain a beard under half an inch. If your beard is more of a Tom Hanks in “Castaway” length, make sure your trimmer comes with an attachment measuring in inches, not millimeters.
Some models come with a variety of fixed-length attachments, while others are slightly adjustable using a dial or twist level. “Attachments clip onto the end of the trimmer and allow you to maintain a length that you are comfortable with,” said Butler. “I always recommend starting with the longest attachment first and then working your way down in length.”
All of our experts informed us that beard trimmers are universal, and work well on all kinds of facial hair. For better shaping, beard-owners with strong or tight curls should consider brushing and combing before trimming, according to Mitsuru Aota, branch manager at The Barber Soho New York.
Our experts recommend beard trimmers that are cordless with rechargeable internal Lithium-ion batteries rather than traditional corded trimmers. While recharging can be a hassle, cordless trimmers are much easier to angle around your face as you trim, and easier to take with you during travel.
Most beard trimmers aren’t waterproof, and trimming your beard while wet can lead to some uneven results (take it from me). Still, some beard trimmers are fully-waterproof, a feature that can help ease the stress of accidentally dropping it in the sink or bathtub.
While all beard trimmers work on a dry face, only some work in wet conditions. “Many models are dual purpose but if you prefer shaping your beard after you step out of the shower then you will want to look for a model that allows you to cut when your facial hair is wet,” said Butler.
The best beard trimmers
We spoke with experts about their favorite beard trimmers and other beard-care essentials. Below are a few of the models they recommended from brands like Andis, Wahl, Philips Norelco, and Bevel.
- 4.5-star average rating from 4,300 reviews on Amazon
“The Andis 74000 is a powerhouse!” said Butler. This beard trimmer comes with a few blade attachments, a recharging station and a cord if you prefer to use it while plugged in. “The edge of the blade allows you to work into tight areas around the mouth or ears,” Butler said, meaning extra opportunities for styling. Butler also mentioned that it is a dry-only trimmer, and not recommended for trimming wet hair.
- 4.4-star average rating from 9,400 reviews on Amazon
Butler recommends this Wahl trimmer for anyone seeking a multi-use trimmer. The Wahl comes with a wide variety of attachments, including attachments for different beard lengths, a nose hair trimmer and an ear hair trimmer. Like the Andis trimmer, the Wahl trimmer should only be used on dry hair.
- 4.1-star average rating from 200 reviews on Amazon
The Philips Norelco is a more all-in-one tool than the others on our lists. Butler recommends it as a solid option thanks to its waterproofing and versatility. Instead of dozens of attachments, this Philips Norelco has a built-in wheel that adjusts the blade attachment by a small degree. Butler likes a wheel-adjuster “when you want to taper the length in front of your ear so you can blend in with your hair.”
- 4.5-star average rating from 1,100 reviews on Amazon
This is the beard trimmer I have used for over five years. Like the Philips Norelco All-In-One, it utilizes a built-in wheel to make small adjustments in length with whichever attachment you are using. This makes it easy to style short and medium length beards, especially around the ears and upper cheek. It comes with three attachments for short, medium and long beard lengths. It also features a hidden second trimmer on the back, which is great for smaller detailing. It is a dry-only trimmer, so it is not recommended for use in the shower.
- 4.3-star average rating from 150 reviews on Amazon
Marinelli recommended a few different brands, including Bevel. The Bevel Pro is the brand’s most feature-rich, high-end beard trimmer and hair clipper, designed to be an all-in-one tool for all your trims, fades and details, according to the brand. It comes with five magnetic trimmer attachments, which can be used in combination with the built-in dial for extremely precise adjusting. It is pricier than the other options on our list.
Professional beard card tips
Beard trimming is just one part of beard care. Keeping a neat and healthy beard involves a lot more than maintaining length. Our experts shared a few tips on how best to maintain your beard.
All of our experts mentioned combing as a crucial part of beard care. “The comb will allow you to smooth your beard out before trimming and allow the beard trimmer to glide through easier,” said Butler.
Combing is especially important for beards with tighter curls. “For tighter curls you will need to help the hair glide into the blade,” said Butler. “Combing through the hair with a regular comb will allow you to smooth it into place, which will make it easier for the trimmer to accept into the blade.”
As part of a healthy beard routine, our experts mentioned combing, trimming, washing daily (the American Academy of Dermatology says any gentle cleanser you would use on your face is fine), and using beard oils.
When it comes to washing, be sure to wash regularly, like you would your hair, and to “cleanse from the ends of the hair down to the face, especially if you have a longer beard,” according to Butler.
Beard oils and leave-in conditioners can be a good option for adding moisture to any kind of beard. “Beards are an extension of your face,” said Marinelli. “Manicure them the way you would anything else on your body.”
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Patrick Butler is the senior director of creative and technical education at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop.
- Davide Marinelli is the founder and creative director at Davide Hair Studio in New York City.
- Mitsuru Aota is the branch manager at The Barber Soho New York.